Wednesday, October 13, 2010

That Which Resonates

Earlier today, I organized a lunch panel discussion. Or rather, I emailed Dr. P months ago asking him if he'd be willing to give a lunch lecture on coming out. He said yes. Then he recruited one other physician to co-talk with him, and then about 2-3 weeks ago he decided to turn it into a panel.

Although I can't say with certainty why he decided to go the route he did, I suspect that he did it partly for me (and any others "like" me in the audience). There were 5 physicians and 1 bio-ethicist who was the moderator. The physicians included: 3 gays, 1 bi woman, and 1 lesbian. Many of the issues they talked about were in some way directed at me - whether they knew it or not.

They each gave their own personal coming out experiences in med school and beyond, if/when applicable. The one gay ED (emergency department) doc's story really resonated with me. He wasn't out in med school except to a few friends. He dated in med school but kept his private life separate from his professional/med school life. In residency he was out to a few more friends and co-residents, but still didn't make a huge thing of it. After residency he still didn't talk about it much, even though he had a partner, because it never really came up. Only when he was moving and told his boss why did he really come out. And since then he didn't look back.

The primary reasons why he didn't come out sooner was because: 1.) he wasn't fully comfortable with himself yet, 2.) it was no one's business, 3.) he had no pressing reason to, 4.) no one asked. It wasn't that the environment around him was anti-gay or not accepting, it was simply for those reasons listed.

And I think that's where I am with all this. It just hit me that that could be me. That that is me (minus dating and a partner). Some people know and do something about it. Others need more time. I think I've come a fair way since beginning this blog years ago. But I still have a ways to go. I won't pretend to say that I'm not scared, or that I don't know what to do, or how to do it, or what's next.

So, a cursory look at the blogs on the sidebar here seems to indicate that many of them are no longer active, as their authors haven't made a post in months. Where has everyone gone? I guess I may have to do some "cleaning up" with my blog roll. There are new blogs I came across and meant to start reading, but alas too busy. Also, I sometimes wonder if some are worth starting since they may end in the near future. Who knows.


naturgesetz said...

I leave inactive blogs in my sidebar and on my following list on my dashboard. I figure, thay way I'll know about it if they ever do decide to post again.

As for why I haven't come out (except to a very few trusted individuals) during the 51 years since I realized, the main reason has been that I've been in situations where there would have been nonacceptance and negative impacts on what I was and am doing. I've been pretty comfortable with myself for 15 or more years. I think the ED's reasons Nos. 2.) and 3.) are perfectly valid. As for No. 4.), I'm not sure what I'd do if someone actually asked me directly. Unless they had a real right or need to know, which practically nobody does, I'd probably try to deny it, since they aren't entitled to the truth and I'm entitled not to have the adverse reaction.

Biki said...

When i hear people say, "Oh you need to come out!", my thoughts are always, well your life isn't everyone else's. Just because something works for some, doesn't mean it works for all. Life is so not a one size fits all kinda dressing room.

Come out or not, thats only for you to decide whats right for you and your life currently. Life isn't a race, so travel at your own pace. Live for you, by your rules, by your standards and you will find inner peace.